Breech Birth, meet my newest addition.

For every midwife, doctor, nurse, or whoever who has said you can’t have a breech baby at home. <Sticks my tung out and blows!>

I would like to introduce you to my newest edition. The beautiful, wonderful, healthy Anuhea. She’s 7 pounds, 21 inches, and came out butt first.

When my son was born almost four years ago we thought he would be breech. My midwife prepped me on what we would have to do. “Pant like a dog.” she told me. I don’t want you pushing till you are a full full 10 cm. She double and triple checked that I was still up for the home birth. “YES!” I said. Only I didn’t have to. Milo turned around just in time. We hadn’t realized it till my husband spied hair and a sense of ease flowed over the living room. It didn’t matter that he was already crowning when we realized he flipped, he flipped and that was all that mattered.

This morning just about 5 hours ago I had the opposite experience. Anuhea is at the moment all of five hours old warm, healthy, and cuddling with my very exhausted birth partner and her father. She was mistakingly diagnosed head down from early on in my pregnancy, or else she flipped last second like her brother because I know for a fact that at 33 weeks she was head down (we had an ultrasound). So, it came as a huge surprise when that very bald and folded head turned out not to be a head at all. Feeling for my dilation I pointed out to my midwife that this head felt like no head I had felt before but my midwife believed that she might have a common bruise on her head that caused it to feel that way and not to worry. Anuhea was in fact frank breech, the most favorable positions for a breech baby to be in. Her feet were at her head like one of those beautiful sleeping baby pictures only without the crochet hat on. Her little bottom came as surprise to everyone except me as I’d been poking at for the last hour trying to help myself get to 10 cm. She presented butt first, my midwife helped her legs come through, and then, thankfully the rest of her made it’s entrance.

One of the big issues with a breech birth is that since their bottom is usually smaller than their head their head their head can get stuck on the way out. My little girl was born with a 15 inch bottom and 13 inch head, so no such problems occurred. Still, it was a shocker when my so called “first normal” labor turned into a breech birth, and I can tell you my hips are still work on adjusting. At the same time this is my third child, and the only one so far that has no strawberry marks on her face, she latched on perfectly, and is the only one who’s placenta just slipped out so easily I barely had to push.

I am not saying it was an easy birth, I am not saying it was without it’s moments of worry but every birth has it’s ups and downs and special moments, all three of mine have. What irks me is how often fear and stigma gets associated with a breech birth. The first midwife I interviewed when I was pregnant with my son told me flat out that she did NOT do breech, multiples, or a number of other issues I can not recall at the moment. When I told fellow mothers that I was going ahead with a homebirth with Milo they all looked at me like I was crazy and putting my child in harms way.

I happen to run a facebook page on natural parenting and birthing. It began for the purpose of introducing doula and midwife seekers to a list they connect with in Honolulu. Now it’s become more of an article database on birth, nursing, and parenting. It just so happens that less than a month ago I posted to different articles on breech births.

http://birthwithoutfearblog.com/2010/10/29/breech-babies-is-another-variation-of-normal/

and

http://www.naturalnews.com/030388_breech_babies_C-sections.html

The second article I particularly love because it debunks that myth that a c-section is the only answer to a breech birth. The truth is that while c-sections can be necessary in some very high risk positions of breech, c-sections carry their own array of complications and issues making a vaginal birth truly the safest method of deliver for a breech baby like mine. It is really interesting to me looking at my three beautiful homebirths because I can see in each one how a hospital situation could have crumbled very quickly into chaos and possible surgery. Thankfully I can look at my choices with pride because each child from my first with his cord around his neck to my most recent with her breech have come out safely and healthy in the peace and love of my home without the unnecessary trauma and intrusion that a hospital birth can bring.

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8 Responses to Breech Birth, meet my newest addition.

  1. Ashley says:

    Congratulations! I’m so happy that you got the peaceful birth that you wanted. She is really beautiful!

  2. Lori says:

    Congratulations!

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  4. Gail says:

    Thank you, Atara, for sharing your beautiful birth stories and confidence! Are you in Honolulu? I hope to see you this Oct. then as I may be there then.
    Could you email me if you are? Thanks, and thanks for sharing your lovely breech birth story!

  5. Bonnie says:

    Congratulations! I have a friend who gave birth at home to twins, one of which was breech.

  6. Sheridan says:

    Congratulations! I am so glad that you were well supported and had a vaginal breech birth. I was a doula for a mom with a surprise breech birth (discovered at hospital at 6cm) and she was forced into a cesarean. So sad for her.

    Glad you had support for a vaginal birth and this surprise was nothing more then a variation of normal. :)

  7. Audry says:

    My son presented complete breech in the 35th week of my pregnancy. I tried everything to get him to turn. I dedicated myself to finding a midwife who would help me have a vaginal delivery. I was seeing a team of 2 midwives who had to release me of care because they were practicing with OBs who would not support their decision to help me deliver naturally. 12 days overdue, with the help of an amazing midwife whom I traveled 375 to get to, I delivered my son breech naturally with 16 1/2 hours of labor and not even a tear. That was in May 2010. Thank you for sharing your story and providing a space for me to share mine. I think it is so important for us to tell our truths. You are courageous!

  8. atarap. says:

    Audry, love your story! I feel so empowered as a mom and as a midwife in training after going through my own breech birth and seeing how exaggerated the fears are about it. I have had three home births and not a single tear. I find it terrible that most doctors and even many midwives will not deliver vaginally a breech baby. What is amazing to me as well is the idea that a child can not and will not turn late in pregnancy. The irony of it all is that my first child was breech until AFTER my water broke, and my latest baby was head down (we have the ultrasound to prove it) until at least very late in my pregnancy. I had one surprise breech berth and one surprise “normal” birth and in actuality the normal birth had more issues that might have been frightening than the breech birth did.

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